Tanatorio Municipal de Leon / BAAS

Architect: Jordi Badia /Josep Val
Location: León,
Project: 1999
Construction: 2000
Collaborators: Elena Valls, Tirma Balagué, Albert Cibiach , Marcos Catalán, Juan Carlos Castro, Frans Massana, Lorena Maristany, Rafael Berengena, Francesc Belart, Santi Vinuesa, Bárbara Camarero, Ginés Egea, Josep Martínez, Luis Victori, Sergi Serrat, Lluis Carreras, Jordi Mercadé
Structure: Eduard Doce, architect
Engineering Assistance: Mariano Fernández, José Manuel Pérez
Budget Consultant: Francesc Belart
Services: Consulting Lluís Duart
Client: SERFUNLE/Ayuntamiento de León
Photographs: Eugeni Pons


The building is conceived as a tomb of tombs.

A completely buried construction, it eludes its volume and its signification in order to camouflage itself in the interstices of a too-close residential area.
A sheet of water by way of a roof constitutes the single facade, reflecting León’s sky like an allegory of death. All that emerges from the water are mysterious fingers in search of light for prayer.

The entrance, ritualised by a great ramp which slowly descends below the ground, terminates in an image of the sky which opens just far enough to let us in.
Past the threshold, the structural design of the main entrance conveys all the weight of a marble slab and the infinite thickness of its perimeter.
A series of courtyards introduce space and light. From the viewing rooms, the only sight of the exterior is the sky.

The building is constructed entirely of , the only fitting material for a tombs. The choice of colour reminds us of the Boñar stone of which the whole city is built.
Inside, a panel of iroko wood folds back on itself to separate the main entrance from the viewing rooms.

Throughout the building there are inserts of black detailing, like the armband that signifies mourning and the sadness of visitors.

Cite: "Tanatorio Municipal de Leon / BAAS" 19 Jul 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Nov 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=3891>